Release Date: Late 2021
Price: From $33,470
Battery Range: 100 miles
0 to 60mph: > 9 seconds
Mazda has been slow to transition over to EVs, but it has recently confirmed that the MX-30 crossover will be coming to dealers in the state of California sometime this fall. It's still not clear whether a wider U.S. release is on the card, or when it might be.
The MX-30 is effectively a smoother version of the CX-30, just without the rear door handles. It's not the most powerful EV, nor does it have the best range. But it should be good for some solid city commuting, and the hybrid model should help keep your battery topped up on longer trips.
The MX-30 has been out in Europe for some time now, and one major criticism has been the EV's small battery size; at 35.5 kWh, it has a range of 124 miles. Unfortunately EPA range testing is more conservative and that has translated to 100 miles of range in the U.S.
This is significantly lower than a lot of the competition, even the similarly-priced 40 kWh Nissan Leaf (149 miles) and Mini Electric (114 miles). It's certainly not a competitively specced car.
"The rotary generator will mark the return of our unique rotary powertrain," said Jeff Guyton, President of Mazda North American Operations in a press release. "This technology is being engineered for nearly silent operation and will replenish the battery rather than drive the wheels. As a result, the MX-30 will always drive like the engaging EV that it is, but with freedom to charge from the wall or on the go."
Here's everything we know about the 2022 Mazda MX-30 so far.
2022 Mazda MX-30 release window and price speculation
The Mazda MX-30 was set to arrive with California dealers this fall, but so far there's no sign of the vehicle hitting U.S. roads just yet. However the Japanese automaker has stopped keeping the price a secret, confirming that prices will start at $33,470 for the standard MX-30 EV.
Meanwhile buying the car with the premium package, means it starts at $36,480. As Elektrek notes, the various incentives available to Californians also mean this car will end up costing less than $25,000.
However there's no word on what the plan is for a wide U.S. launch in states that don't have such generous incentives for buying an EV.
2022 Mazda MX-30 design and interior
The design of the 2022 Mazda MX-30 will not turn heads. It looks very similar to the CX-30, albeit a bit smoother. For all intents and purposes, it looks like any other crossover.
Mazda, however, uses much more ornate language in describing the MX-30. The company calls its design "Human Modern," with "exterior proportions [to] give the crossover a feeling of strength and beauty, while the minimalist style offers a sense of sophistication similar to other Mazda vehicles."
The interior is unique, though. Being an environmentally sustainable vehicle, it forgoes leather for fabrics made of recycled plastic bottles and cork harvested from trees without felling. Actually, Mazda started off as a Japanese cork manufacturer before it ever got into cars, making the interior a cool callback.
Much like Tesla, Mazda has opted for a center touchscreen for controls. Unlike the Model 3, however, Mazda will keep important buttons and knobs within reach. Buyers will also be able to use the MyMazda app to turn on the MX-30 remotely, adjust climate or monitor the car from afar.
2022 Mazda MX-30 battery and range
One criticism of the Mazda MX-30 is its rather low range. At 35.5 kWh, it only gives it a range of 100 miles. That means the MX-30 gets outclassed in terms of range by the 40 kWh Nissan Leaf and the Mini Electric - both of which are noticeably cheaper.
Mazda has a justification for this, however.
"We should not be excessive with battery size," said Christian Schultze of Mazda Europe's R&D. "We should consider how much range does a customer really need and how much battery [capacity] can we avoid to reduce CO2 substantially."
This makes sense. Mining more lithium-ion is not great for the environment. And to put in extra battery cells that may not end up being used is, in one sense, wasteful. Considering that Europeans average about 31 miles a day, a 35.5 kWh is more than enough for some.
But whether that will translate to the American driving culture is another matter entirely. Especially given the lower range estimates, which come thanks to the more conservative EPA testing cycle.
As for charging, the MX-30 will be able to handle Level 2 and DC rapid charging stations. The battery can reach an 80% charge in 36 minutes using DC fast charging. Mazda is also partnering with ChargePoint to offer solutions around California.
2022 Mazda MX-30 performance
2022 Mazda MX-30 will not outrace a Tesla, unfortunately. But really, the MX-30 is designed to be a people-mover first, and a torque-mad party-trick second.
Apart from the small 35.5 kWh battery, the powertrain is embedded with Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture, which will help with its driving dynamics. Skyactiv is Mazda's in-house technology development arm. Pretty much, if there's a new cool piece of engine tech or exterior design meant to enhance performance, it'll be given the Skyactiv moniker.
The MX-30 is a front-wheel drive EV with an output of 107 kW, or 144 horsepower. It has a maximum torque of 200 lb-ft, which is decently high compared to other FWD cars.
Either way, you won't be racing on track with the MX-30. It has a 0-60 time of over nine seconds according to Auto Express, and a top speed of 87 miles per hour. While 87 MPH might sound adequate, considering the speeds that California drivers drive at on the interstate, buyers might see themselves sticking to the right lane.
2022 Mazda MX-30 outlook
The 2022 Mazda MX-30 should be a good first-step into the U.S. EV market from the storied manufacturer. The brand, which has been associated with reliability, styling and good resale value, will have fans line up to give the MX-30 a go. But by limiting the car to California at launch, poor sales in that state may translate to a stunted nationwide release.
While this is pure speculation, considering the size of the U.S. and the need to go long distances, some upgraded version of the MX-30 might be in the works. Maybe not for all markets, but states that require long stretches of driving, such as Texas or Montana, would benefit from the added an additional larger battery option.
Only time will tell is Mazda can attract buyers interested in EVs, especially the ones that don't do a lot of long-distance driving or are unwilling a premium to pay for a Tesla Model 3 or Model Y. Still, we can't help but feel there are much better, and affordably priced, competitors to pick instead.